WINNER | Sanyam Mahajan
Prior to starting his MBA at INSEAD, Sanyam’s professional experiences spanned internationally – working in India at the Maruti Suzuki assembly plant, working in Turkey at an automotive SME, and working in the UK at Stanley Black & Decker (SBD). At SBD, his career progressed working across sales, product marketing, and eCommerce functions in an EMEA wide scope. Most recently, Sanyam led eCommerce category management, across all SBD brands and business units, creating a new go-to-market strategy for winning on online marketplaces. In June 2022, he gave an industry wide keynote speech on eCommerce transformation in London.
When did you start thinking about doing an MBA?
I had kept MBA as a back pocket option depending on how my career would unfold, but 18 months prior to starting my MBA, I was convinced that it was the right option for me. This was a result of introspecting my long-term professional and personal objectives and how I could best set myself up for this success.
How was your experience of applying for the SMF scholarship?
The application process wasn’t challenging itself, but it did challenge my MBA narrative, making me dive deeper into the why’s and the how’s of my choices. It was very convenient to reach out to the scholarships manager, which was super helpful for me. Interestingly, I could still apply for the scholarship even after starting my MBA programme.
What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?
I hope to reaccelerate my learning and growth curve through the MBA experience and make friendships and connections with a like-minded community. In the long-term, I want to leverage the global INSEAD brand and network to make a positive impact on business and society.
How will you use your MBA to further your career?
There are two distinct things here for me. Firstly, I want to switch sectors post-MBA, moving from consumer goods into management or strategy consulting; INSEAD is one of the best MBA programmes to facilitate this move. Secondly, I want to use the MBA to craft a personal brand of leadership which I will build upon as I progress in my career.
What are your hopes for being part of the SMF network?
The SMF alumni is a network of high achieving people with similar growth and ambitions. I’m looking forward to connecting and learning from people who are on a similar journey as me and from people who are 5 or 10 years ahead of me on that journey. Looking at the numbers, i.e., £500m invested in VC or growth by SMF fellows, there’s an incredible community of entrepreneurs and invaluable support for startups.
How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?
SMF does inspiring work in mentoring young engineers and undergraduates, and I would love to be part of such mentoring initiatives, for example the Champion of Champions Competition. From a diversity and inclusivity perspective, I would like to get involved in promoting female education in the STEM field, an area which needs much higher female representation.
What difference has the scholarship made to you?
I have been contemplating creating my own consumer goods brand after the MBA, and the scholarship gives me much needed financial runway to pursue that idea.
Learn more about applying for the SMF scholarship.